MacArthur Fellows Program

Lawrence W. Levine

Historian | Class of February 1983

Berkeley, California
50 at time of award
October 23, 2006
Area of Focus
American History
Published February 1, 1983

About Lawrence's Work

Lawrence Levine was a scholar of American culture and folklore.

Levine’s areas of research ranged from a study of William Jennings Bryan as a cultural symbol and spokesman for the rural culture of the American South and West to an analysis of African-American folk thought from the period of slavery to World War II.  He also investigated the patterns of American higher education and the changing conceptions of American identity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  His books included Defender of the Faith: William Jennings Bryan: The Last Decade, 1915-1925 (1965), Black Culture and Black Consciousness: Afro-American Folk Thought from Slavery to Freedom (1977), Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America (1988), The Unpredictable Past: Explorations in American Cultural History (1993), The Opening of the American Mind: Canons, Culture, and History (1996), and The People and the President: America’s Conversations with FDR (co-editor with Cornelia Levine, 2002).


Levine was a professor of history and cultural studies at George Mason University and the Margaret Byrne Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley.

Levine received a B.A. (1955) from the City College of New York, and an M.A. (1957) and a Ph.D. (1962) from Columbia University.  

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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